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Trinity College (Hartford, Connecticut) Photograph Collection

Identifier: Trinity College (Hartford, Connecticut)-Photograph Collection

Scope and Contents

The Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.) Photograph Collection is comprised of photographs, mostly black and white, but also color photographs, negatives, slides, contact sheets, modern reprintings of older photographs, drawings, engravings, pamphlets, and digital photographs. The collection depicts the Trinity Campus, including buildings, classes, events, students, faculty, and staff.

A very few photographs date from the period before the American Civil War, including views of the Old Campus. Between the Civil War and the move to the new Summit Campus in the 1870s, some photographs document students and buildings, such as the chapel in old Seabury Hall (downtown). The photographic record increased significantly in the 1870s and 1880s, with the construction of the Summit Campus, and included views of campus, Jarvis Hall, Seabury Hall, Northam Towers, the Long Walk, students in groups (e.g. fraternities),and baseball and football student athletes. In the 1890s, photographs depict in particular Alumni Hall, the President's House, the Gymnasium, the Jarvis Science Laboratory, the bicycling team, as well as several portraits of individual professors.

Alumni gatherings are represented for the first time around 1900, along with documentary images of Commencements and new forms of athletic student competition. Photos of the 1918 Commencement are significant for their inclusion of honorary degree recipient Theodore Roosevelt. Through photos of ROTC, the Naval V-12 program, and AFROTC, military mobilization is captured on campus during the twentieth century's world wars and the Cold War. Numerous photographs of the current Chapel building, including aerial shots, were taken during its construction. Other aerial photos of the campus date from 1936 to 1997, when campus views became commonplace for use by college officers interested in public relations. Commencement ceremonies and Alumni Reunions are documented more regularly between 1940 and 1975. Throughout the 20th century, a number of new college buildings are captured in still footage in this collection. The 1968 student sit-in protest is an important event documented in photography. By the 1960s and 1970s, photos of student life are particularly extensive, from the classroom and student artwork to athletics and social entertainment.

The arrival of coeducation to Trinity College is documented well in the collection; however, the intermingling of publicity photos of non-student women with photos of female students presents difficulties at authentic representation of this particular change within the student community.

Photos of particular individuals are also included in the collection, including framed prints of the college's presidents, professors, and members of the Trinity College Board of Trustees.


  • 1870-1999

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the John M.K. Davis Reading Room of the Watkinson Library, Trinity College Library, Hartford, Connecticut. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws when using this collection.

This collection contains born-digital materials. If you would like to access these materials, please contact us prior to your visit as items may require specialized software for access.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with the duplication policy of the Watkinson Library.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder. For many photographs in the collection, the creators are unknown.

Archival materials may contain sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information (e.g. social security numbers) in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.

Biographical / Historical

The Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.) Photograph Collection derives from several sources, including the Public Relations Office (now the Communications Office) and photographs collected by the Trinity College Library (later the College Archives). Some photographs were taken by members of the Trinity College administrative staff or faculty, while others were taken by freelancers or photographers for hire. Some of the photographs are documentary, while others were taken specifically for publicity purposes or were staged by the Public Relations Office (later the Communications Office).

Beginning in 1946, the Public Relations Office was started under the leadership of Robert M. Bishop (class of 1955), formerly Assistant Director of Public Relations at Union College.

By September 1996, the Public Relations Office had changed its name to the Marketing and Public Relations Office.

In 2002, the Marketing and Public Relations Office was reorganized as the Office of Communications, with Mary O'Connor as its Executive Director.


36 Cubic Feet (36 records storage cartons.)

Language of Materials



The Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.) Photograph Collection is arranged based on format and only somewhat on provenance.

Custodial History

The Trinity College (Hartford, Conn.) Photograph Collection is an artificial collection in that multiple accessions from different offices of Trinity College have been combined. Although the provenance and custodial history of some of the photographs is known or can be traced without too much difficulty, a great number of the photographs may lack documentation of their origins.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Communications Office of Trinity College (Hartford, CT), and other campus offices, transferred some of these groups of photographs to the Watkinson Library at various times from 1999 to 2016.

Existence and Location of Copies

Some items have been digitized by the Trinity College Library and are available in the Trinity College Archives portion of Artstor.

Related Materials

Archival Materials

Deceased Alumni Photofile (Trinity College), Watkinson Library, Hartford, CT


Trinity College Bulletin, 1946-1947 (Report of the President), (1947), p. 5.

Trinity College Bulletin, 1995-1996 (Catalogue Issue), (1995), p. 397.

Trinity College Bulletin, 1996-1997 (Catalogue Issue), (1996) p. 393-394.

Processing Information

Intern Lauren Redfield prepared a processing plan in June 2016.

When processing of the collection resumes, the number of photographs represented will likely grow.

Guide to the Trinity College (Hartford, Connecticut) Photograph Collection
In Progress
Peter Rawson and Lauren Redfield
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2020-03-26: "Scope and Contents" updated. "Arrangement," "Bibliography," "Bio/Historical," "Related Materials," "Immediate Source of Acquisition," and "Custodial History" added. Revisions made by Eric C. Stoykovich.

Repository Details

Part of the Trinity College Archives Repository

Watkinson Library
300 Summit St.
Hartford CT 06106 USA